Everyone knows that food is an essential source of nourishment for our bodies, providing sustainment and energy throughout the day. But did you know that food is also critical for our mental health? Indeed, what you eat can play an essential role in your mental wellbeing. By looking at the connection between our stomachs and our brains, we can see the link.
Although we may quickly turn to food like burgers, fries, or pizza to feel a sense of comfort and happiness, those feelings may be short-lived. According to nutritional psychiatrists cited in the New York Times, a healthy gut leads to a healthy brain. Since our bodies rely on the food we eat for sustainment, healthy food means a healthy mind.
In short, our gut produces microbes that create serotonin and dopamine, which our brain uses to regulate our emotions. When we feel happy, our brain bursts with dopamine and then uses serotonin to control our feelings once the feeling passes. And, when our gut is healthy, we can adequately regulate our emotions and feel happy when it comes.
The Many Benefits of Healthy Eating
According to NYT, a 2016 study showed that people who ate more fruits and vegetables self-reported more feelings of happiness over a seven-year period, and some participants noticed a change in as little as 12 weeks. In addition to increased feelings of happiness, participants also saved $26 per week at the grocery store by focusing their diet on canned beans, canned tuna, and frozen fruit. Canned and frozen foods remain a cost-effective and convenient way to get the nutrients necessary for a healthy gut and a healthy mind.
It is important to note that a healthy diet is not the only thing that contributes to mental health, and the American Psychological Association is encouraging more rigorous research on the topic. Sleep, exercise, and stress management also play an essential role, so it is necessary to balance these elements when focusing on your mental health. Cutting out smoking and reducing prescription drugs and alcohol also played a role in study participants’ mental health. Ultimately, a holistic approach is essential.
Connecting Healthy Diets and Healthy People
Making a change in your diet to promote mental health can be difficult. As the saying goes, old habits are hard to break. But help is available! Bama Health Foods, located in Birmingham, wants to help you connect with key people and resources to help you focus on your body, mind, and soul. We are not just a grocory store; we are an inspiring community of people focused on living and healing with a natural, holistic lifestyle. We want to help you find reliable ways to live an authentic and nutritional lifestyle that meets your individual needs.